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Rookie Scouting Edition: Evaluating Andre Jones Jr. and His Potential Role | Washington Commanders

Updated: Aug 26, 2023


By Adam Aniba


Prior to the NFL Draft, the only defensive end under contract for Washington was Shaka Toney. Although Rivera selected KJ Henry in the 5th round, the Commanders double dipped at defensive end and selected Louisiana University DE/OLB Andre Jones Jr. with their last pick in the draft.

Andre Jones Jr.

6'5" 258 lbs | DE | Louisiana

Drafted RD 7 #233 Overall

Career (65 Games)- 209 TAK (110 solo), 30 TFL, 17.5 SACKS, 4 FF, 2 FR, 1 INT &

8 PD

'22 Stats (12 Games)- 51 TAK (24 solo), 8.5 TFL, 7.5 SACKS, 1 FF, 1 INT & 2 PD

Breakdown

Jones grew up in in Varnada, LA and was a two-sport athlete for Varnada HS, lettering in basketball and football. On the hardwood Jones earned honorable mention Class 1A All-State honors in 2016.


On the football field Jones was a 2-time First-team District 8-1A selection at linebacker, edge rusher and tight end. He concluded his senior season with 78 tackles, 6 sacks, a forced fumble, and 1 blocked punt. At tight end, Jones recorded 12 catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns.


His efforts in '16, led to All-State and All-District honors and a 2-star rating. Jones received minimal attention during the college recruiting process and committed Louisiana University.


As a freshman Jones appeared in 9 games as a reserve edge rusher. He finished the season with 9 tackles and 0.5 tackles for a loss. His best game vs Ole Miss (11/11/17) where he registered a season high 3 tackles (2 solo).


In 2018 Jones played in 4 games, strictly lining up at outside linebacker. Although he had some growing pains in coverage, he improved every game finishing the season with 4 tackles and 1 tackle for a loss.


The following season Jones was active in 14 games (9 starts) recording 42 tackles, 7 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 5 QB pressures and 1 forced fumble. Jones had the best game as a Ragin Cajun vs Texas Southern (9/14/19), in which he registered 5 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack.


In 2020 Jones started in all 11 games for the first time since joining the program. He finished the season 5th on the team with 43 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback pressures, 2 sacks and 1 pass break up.


His best performances came against South Alabama (11/14/20) where he recorded 6 tackles and a 0.5 sacks, a season-high 7 tackles in the team’s win vs Appalachian State (12/4/20). He also recorded 2 tackles in the First Responder Bowl game vs UTSA (12/26/20).


Fast forward to 2022 with Jones taking advantage of an extra season of eligibility. The Ragin Cajun collected a career high 7.5 sacks and really seemed to find his stride as a pass rusher. Jones was utilized on on stunts and did his best work attacking interior lineman.


He also was tasked with dropping into coverage more than previous seasons and responded with 2 passes defended and also recorded his first career interception. He finished his last two seasons with 30 tackles for a loss and 15.5 sacks.

PROS

  • Effective when deployed through the B gap

  • DIsplays an effective chop and spin move

  • Quick feet with little wasted movement

  • OLB/Edge tweener that can be deployed from multiple spots

  • Seasoned/mature with 6 years of college football experience

CONS

  • Lean frame leads to lack of power at the point of attack

  • Lack of counter moves and bend are evident

  • Stiffness allows blockers to get under his pads, leading to loss of leverage

  • Too easily displaced when playing the run

  • Although made strides in coverage, needs to get more depth on his drops


Projection

Early reports have been that Jones will be utilized as an outside linebacker in Del Rio's defense, even though he's listed a s a defensive end on the team site. Many evaluators projected Jones to be an OLB in a 3-4 base defense.


Although Jones is a bit of a tweener, he has the experience standing up and putting his hand in the dirt as an edge rusher.


In all likelihood Jones will start the season on the practice squad, while he refines his skills and hopefully adds some mass.


The longjam at defensive end doesn't help his cause to make the opening day roster either. In saying that, Rivera's draft picks rarely don't make the roster and shining on special teams will help 7th rounder pass rushers chances.


*Games Watched- 9/10/22 E.Michigan, 9/17 vs Rice,10/1 vs S.Alabama, 11/19 vs FSU, 11/26 vs Texas St. & 12/23 vs Houston





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